Boo. Quick recap: http://centericehockey.us/content/western-michigan-recap
Michigan - Western Michigan: Open Thread
encouraged by their play tonight. Special teams (PK at least, I tuned in and out and missed all our PPs, but we scored a goal on WMU's best-in-conference PK, so I'm assuming that was OK) looked better, as you mentioned PDG and Guptill are starting to get it going again, defense was, at times, decent. I wouldn't say they unconditionally outskated a very good WMU team on their home ice, but that was a winnable game. Michigan didn't walk away with a win from it, but play like that though (what is looking more and more like) 6 games in the play-offs, could yield happiness in the CCHA tournament, with some bounces here and there. But it would be REALLY comforting to reach aat least the 5th spot. I'd much rather play ND/WMU once for all the marbles at the Joe than have to beat them 2-of-3 in their own barns. Miami wouldn't be quite as bad, but still less than ideal. Winning 2-of-3 at FSU, LSSU, OSU or even, though less ideally Alaska, would be much easier, methinks. The season's a mess, but they're starting to look like they have at least the tiniest of chances at salvaging it.
The thing about the last several games was that it's been a lot of players without a lot of goals for the other teams, scoring a lot on Michigan. That and Domenic Monardo. I don't know if that's a lesser defensive pairing, or if it's more on the lower-line forwards, or if the team just tends to lapse more when supposedly less dangerous players are on the ice, but that needs to get tightened up significantly.
EDIT: I always praise Copp and I forgot to, at first. Please consider this as high praise for his night of work and yet another plea for him to be a sophomore C or at least an A. Also, Boo Nieves looked good again tonight, I don't think he's the leadership candidate I think Copp is, but I think Nieves is going to be REALLY good next year. Possibly/probably/hopefully Michigan's first 20-goal scorer since... Caporusso 2008-09?
I admire your optimism, but Janny gave up 2 goals on 5 shots in the 1st. Also on their 2nd goal, their guy had all day to shoot from the blue line. We'll need a ton of puck luck to do anything in the postseason.
2 on 5, but then 1 on 14 in the second isn't so bad and he kept Michigan in it in the third, not allowing anything. Not that Westerb was especially aggressive, but he stopped them all in that period. I mentioned the defensive lapses need to be corrected, but there will always be defensive lapses that need correcting. This isn't the team that had umpteen million ugly losses earlier in the season. A 3-2 loss to Western at Lawson, when they had the chances to do better, is a better sign than losing 5-0 to Cornel or FSU.
Bottom line, we blew a 2-goal lead. allowed 3 unaswered goals.and lost. We need wins, not just better signs.
Blowing a two goal lead is bad. Michigan desperately needs wins. But what they need more are play-off wins and what we're getting are good signs those might be possible. If this was a vintage Michigan team, that played exactly this game, we would be mildly disappointed, but we'd say, "they lost to a top-10 team on the road, they had chances, it happens, we'll beat them tomorrow". This team hasn't earned those defenses. They've played horrendously most of this season. They still have a lot of work to do. If they played like that for the entire play-offs, they probably wouldn't win every game. But they'd have a chance in every game. That's a massive improvement over earlier in the season. More importantly, this is the third game in a row where they've had a pulse. They went 1-2, they needed to go 3-0. But I'd rather believe this team still has a chance, even a small one, than declare the season over. It's abundantly obvious none of the goalies are going to become Hunwick-Ian this season, but if enough of the skaters make a Kampfer-like transformation, they have a shot. I'm optimistic, perhaps overly so, one has every right to be massively disappointed in this team, that's what they've earned. But I think my way is more fun.
I'm not one to declare the season over - or even a game. I remain hopeful at the beginning of games, but when things happen like we come out guns blazing, but still end up tied at the end of the first, then give up that lead, all too often this season holding onto hope seems like trying to catch Wilson.
The current season, or the prospect of the 22 consecutive year tournament appearance record ending.
I think the record. We may not see another team with that legacy of longevity again soon, if ever.
This season continues to be fun. Given, a 3-2 loss to Western isn't really in the top 15 low points of the season as of now, but it sure would be nice to win some games here and there
Fun? What? Bordering on a last-place finish in the final season of the CCHA is "fun?" Possibly seeing the end of the longest streak of consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament – barring a miracle ending to the season – is "fun?" An RPI ranking of 45th out of 59 NCAA teams is "fun?" Having the NCAA’s 54th best team defense is "fun?" Having no player among the NCAA’s top 50 scoring leaders or top 33 goalies is "fun?" It’s not much "fun" when Michigan’s hockey team wins only on . . .